In these troubled times, good news is hard to find. But yesterday, we got a welcome surprise in our inbox from the team at MBIE: the much-awaited (by us and other fintech geeks) consultation process for the New Zealand Consumer Data right is officially underway!

Thanks to The Beastie Boys for the title of this post.

If you’re not excited by now, I understand. But bear with me, this is really good, and you should get involved.

The Consumer Data Right (CDR) was signalled by Minister Kris Faafoi back in January. As we wrote back then, the Minister had run out of patience with the banks’ slow progress on Open Banking, and indicated the Government was looking at whether regulation was desirable. Looking at a CDR would be the first step in that regulation.

So what does the CDR actually do? Simply put, a CDR gives you the right to access the data an organisation holds on you. Your bank transactions, power usage, phone records… the lot. The underlying principle is your data belongs to you, not the banks, telcos or power companies. And, beyond that, the CDR gives you the right to allow any other organisation you choose to access your data.

You could switch banks with one tap. Pay all your bills from one place. Run your hot water with one power company, and your lights with another, and switch between power companies, all in one app. There’s really no limit to the services that could spring up if data was freely transportable.

At Pocketful, we’re building new user experiences of money, (bill sharing coming soon!), so we do have a vested interested in getting access to our users’ data. But this is bigger than us, or any other business. It’s a whole new ball game.

Data is the oil that runs the digital world we all live in, so freeing that data and letting it flow to where to can produce the most value is just the kind of revolutionary act that our digital innovation sector needs right now.

So, the CDR is the legal framework that means your bank/telco/utility/whoever has to make it easy for you to get hold of your data and let you share it with whoever you choose.

Or, as MBIE puts it…

What is a Consumer Data Right?
It gives individuals and businesses greater choice and control over their data.

It allows individuals and businesses to securely share data held about them by businesses such as a bank or utility with trusted third parties. For example, a third party could be an app that makes it easier for consumers to manage their finances across multiple providers, save or invest, compare products and seamlessly switch between different suppliers.

Why does New Zealand need a Consumer Data Right?

There are generally no requirements for data to be shared in a consistent format.

Industry-led initiatives have been slow to progress and are not yet fully delivering benefits to consumers.

A consumer data right will provide real consumer welfare and economic benefits for New Zealand.

As part of the consultation process, MBIE is putting forward four options to consider, from status quo to economy wide, with sector-specific applications in between.

Hope you’re starting to get excited about this. But if you need any more convincing, the Aussies have already done it!

What are we waiting for?

Get involved in the CDR Consultation process: make your submission here (closes October 8)